#myfavfriday paper thermometers


A super quick post – @wahedahbug tweeted looking for data for Algebra I students to collect / put into a table and work with.  One of my favorites is creating a paper thermometer.  Most students know water freezes and boils at 0 and 100 degrees Celcius and 32 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit.  So that’s where I start with my students, asking them to leave a few spaces between the values on our “thermometers”.

Next, I ask them to find the “middle” of each of the values, and again the “upper and lower middles”.  Most will simply average to find the mean.  We record these values, then use differences to compare to find our rates.  9/5!  If you like, sure, change it to a decimal – whatever works best for your students.


I’ve been using the “vertex” (h, k) model for lines – so, pick a data point and create your equation to model your data.  Pick a different data point…does it give you the same equation? 

I remember the very first time I ever did this activity at an Algebra for All workshop – I was amazed…it was the conversion equation between Fahrenheit & Celcius! LOL – really?  I should have known that! duh.

I love using this because the students recognize the equation from science class and now they “know” where it came from!

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